Hadley’s Date Shake
If you’re anywhere near Palm Springs, it’s worth a short detour to have a date with a shake.
Nestled in between light brown, rock candy mountains and forests of towering white windmills, next to a giant Indian casino, and otherwise in the middle of nowhere, sits a simple building that houses a small shop of wonders. The sign says Fruit Orchard, but there’s much more. It might be something like Trader Joe’s when it first started out. There are products you’ve never heard of, bags of little balls of unknown nuts or berries covered in who knows what. Sweet candied pecans, toffee roasted peanuts, trail mixes of all sizes, shapes, and sorts. There are little tubs of peanut butter with a touch of honey that doesn’t need bread, butter, or jam. It’s lunch and dessert in one. It’s a little nutty and crunchy, but just right—not too crunchy, not too smooth. It’s just worth trying.
It’s actually worth the trip even if you’re not anywhere near Palm Springs.
But the main draw are the freshly-made date shakes. I’m not a huge shake fan and I’m a little timid around dates. When I see them, sorry about this but, I think of those pupas of cockroaches … hope that doesn’t ruin it for you. I’m not even sure what dates are—but they’re delicious in these shakes. There are little flakes in the shake that give fleck the vanilla ice cream with just enough sparkle and give each sip a little something more to do than just slurp. You can chew the little slivers and get a tiny taste of those sweet dates and allow the fruit to linger in your mouth until the next thick straw swig.
Have you ever had those Thai drinks with the chunks of I’m-not-sure-what at the bottom? This isn’t like those. Those are yucky.
They provide a thick enough straw so that you don’t have to suck your checks into your jawbone, but not so thick that your $4.35 medium is gone too quickly. Sit at the counter and soak up the sun rays (almost guaranteed in this part of the world—it’s 82 degrees on January 2) and admire the view of the … parking lot and the freeway. But you’re not here for the view. Check out the signed photos from all of the Hollywood celebrities who have also stopped by for a shake. Walk around the shop and browse all of the goodies that you recognize—and dare try a bag of something that you don’t.